Influence of Domain-General Abilities and Prior Division Competence on Fifth-Graders’ Fraction Understanding
Florencia Stelzer 1 * , María Laura Andrés 1, Lorena Canet-Juric 1, Sebastián Urquijo 1, María Marta Richards 1
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1 Institute of Basic, Applied Psychology and Technology (IPSIBAT), National University of Mar del Plata, National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), Mar del Plata, ARGENTINA* Corresponding Author


The present study analyzed the relationship between domain-general abilities and fraction knowledge in fifth grade, and investigated the mediating role of division competence in that relationship. Children (n = 175) were assessed in fourth grade on domain-general abilities (selective attention, working memory, fluid intelligence) and on division competence; and in fifth grade on fraction conceptual knowledge. Mediation analyses revealed that domain general abilities were direct predictors of fraction concepts, and division competence mediates the 32% of the effect of working memory and the 17% of the effect of intelligence on fraction knowledge. These findings support the assumptions of those theoretical models of numerical cognition that proposed a central role of general cognitive abilities for mathematics learning and indicate that there are distinct pathways from general cognitive abilities to fraction conceptual knowledge.


This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

INT ELECT J MATH ED, Volume 14, Issue 3, October 2019, 489-500

Publication date: 29 Apr 2019

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Article Downloads: 1376

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